January 16, 2008

134: A Stitch, In Time

Photobucket
I've been in a creative malaise, coming off the holiday season ­ – I make no
bones about it. When I get this way, I see my sketchbook tucked in my backpack and fear it. I fear starting a drawing, even though I know that, quite possibly, even a few minutes into a concept I will be knee-deep in the idea, thinking of the execution and rushing myself toward a conclusion.

Even this week's Illustration Friday theme ­ – stitch – ­ I let slip by until Kerry offered a suggestion of a "creative night", where I would draw (or photograph) and she would work on her writing.

The concept of 'stitch' made me first think of a fantastical species of bird
comprised of parts from all my personal favourites: a nuthatch, a saw-whet owl, a snipe or ruddy turnstone perhaps. But recognition of these ­ – and most ­ species – is largely through the head, or by seeing the bird as a whole. Most of these would not make much sense otherwise, visually. But there is a bird that exists (though I haven't seen one, living as far north as I do) that appears naturally stitched together: the painted bunting. Built from red, green and blue, as if invented by a six-year-old wielding a basic pack of Crayolas, the painted bunting was an easy specimen to craft and contort into a submission for Illustration Friday's theme.

The illustration, using a field guide as reference, was created with Pigma Micron pens (of all manner of thicknesses). Scanned, tweaked and coloured in Photoshop, the piece was eventually layered overtop a texture photo of the bottom of a cardboard box. To view a better look at the detail, click here.

11 comments:

Crystal & Co. said...

I love this. The colors (yse!), the assemblage (great idea), and the courage to illustrate. Good thing for creative night.

Toni said...

It's amazing to me - birds are finding me, following me, they must be my symbol for 2008 (even though I've always loved them). Your bird s is vibrant but still ... hmmm ... calming? The stitches are in the perfect place, the colors balanced. More! More!

Tracy said...

I love it! Beautifully drawn and digitized, as always.

j.rose said...

i think you're out of your holiday slump...this is truly inspiring, thanks for sharing!

Nik Scarlett said...

Awesome! The colors and style compliment each other really nice.

Patrick said...

I don't see any malaise. This is a very cool idea, done beautifully. Love the cardboard texture and the color choices!

studio lolo said...

This is fantastic!! Great concept well executed.
A book every artist/writer should have on hand is "Art & Fear." I'm rereading it after several years and I'm getting so much more out of it this time.

carla said...

I can completely relate to those creative slumps and fearing the sketchbook. I wonder why it is? Like you, once I start, it seems to happen. Ah... just another mystery of human nature, I guess. Anyway, I'm glad you went for it with this one, because your Frankensteion approach is absolutely charming! I really like the colors and the fabulous textures. Your illustration is thuper tweet!

Jeope said...

I'm glad so many can relate. Thanks for the great bunch of comments.

nina seven said...

very cool piece. creative night was a good thing!

Anthony Woodward said...

Cool. I've watching the Pileated woodpecker most mornings whilst sipping my coffee here in Gimli.
Speaking of coffee are you free to catch up anytime soon?
;)